Thailand has often been called The Land of the White Elephant by European travellers who marvelled at the high status bestowed upon these animals. But what is a white elephant and why are they so revered that wars have been fought over them ? Today we take a look at the facts and myths surrounding these magnificent and rare pachyderms.
The Origins of Football in Thailand
As in many other countries around the world Thai's love their football. Much time and energy is expended in both playing the game and in passionately following their favourite team whether that be their local league team, the Thai national team or even a team from the English Premier League. But when and how was the English game of football introduced to Thailand?
A Short Tour of Corrado Feroci’s Bangkok
Thailand owes many of its most famous monuments to an Italian who arrived in Siam in 1923. This man's name was Corrado Feroci and he would dedicate the rest of his life to the arts in Thailand, even adopting a Thai name Silpa Bhirasri. Today we will take a tour around Bangkok to learn about Corrado Feroci and his most famous works, a tour which will also take us through some of Thailand's most momentous history.
Khao Wang – King Mongkut’s Mountain Retreat
Located in Petchaburi province some 120km south of Bangkok, spread across three mountain peaks, is the southern palace retreat of King Mongkut (Rama IV). Officially called Phra Nakhorn Khiri, the "Celestial Mountain-top City" it is more commonly called Wang Khao or "Hill-top Palace".
What Killed King Chulalongkorn ?
On 23rd October 1910 King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) at the age of 57 died. He had reigned over Siam for 42 remarkable years. His death was mourned throughout the nation and was reported around the world. The day is still remembered as an annual holiday in Thailand. But what exactly did he die of ?
The Day King Chulalongkorn Met Queen Victoria
In 1897 King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) embarked upon his first grand tour of Europe to meet with the ruling families and heads of state of Europe, meetings which are still widely remembered through popular articles and photographs to this day. But one of the most important meetings seems also to be one of the least remembered, that being his meeting with Queen Victoria.
Siam or Thailand ?
On 11th May 1949 Radio Bangkok announced to the world that from that day on Siam would be known as Thailand. But in fact this was the second time this name change had occurred within ten years and the change was not particularly popular. So why the change?
The Many Fathers of Thailand’s Development
Anybody who takes an interest in Thai history will soon hear the phrase "He is today considered the Father of Thai........" where the blank might be anything from "Navy" or "Postal System" to "Art" or even "History". After a while one realises that there are many of these "fathers" some of whom are mentioned in... Continue Reading →
Thailand’s Greatest Heroines
As any visitor to Thailand quickly discovers, this country has a deep culture and history replete with miraculous tales of heroic deeds. Quite a few of these tales involve strong women who through bravery and sometimes a bit of powerful magic overcome adversaries and save the people from certain destruction.
Tracking The Teak That Transformed Thailand
One hundred years ago the second largest export of then Siam was teak and this industry helped shape modern Thailand. It also left behind some beautiful architecture.
Following the Journey of the Emerald Buddha
The Emerald Buddha is the most venerated Buddha image in all of Thailand and is the highlight for many of the 8 Million visitors to the Grand Palace each year. But few of these visitors consider where this sacred image originated from or are aware of the journey travelled by the Emerald Buddha prior to being installed within the Grand Palace
The Italians Who Built Bangkok
Western tourists flock to Bangkok every year drawn by the spectacle of glittering exotic temples. But some might notice that many of the other grand old buildings appear to be of European style, betraying the influence once held by Italians in early Bangkok.
Churches of Bangkok
Everybody associates Bangkok with its magnificent Buddhist temples, but along the Chao Phraya River are a series of beautiful Catholic churches
The Story of Noo Soy Thong
The sad story of Noo Soy Thong shows the differences between Thai and Western attitudes to death.
Bangkok’s Old Customs House
Everyday thousands of tourists pass up and down the Chao Phraya river but few pay any attention to the decaying but still magnificent relic of Bangkok's 19th century Customs House
Bangkok’s Birthday Bridges
King Chulalongkorn considered the building of bridges so important he funded the construction of a bridge each year to celebrate his birthday.